The Manchester United debuts of Sir Bobby Charlton and Marcus Rashford are separated by 60 years, and plenty has changed in football and in life in that period.
Both youth-system graduates, they both scored twice on their bows for the senior side at Old Trafford. Here we spotlight two comparable football events from incomparable times…
WHEN TWO STARS WERE BORN
Charlton and Rashford were both 18-year-old prospects when opportunity knocked at their door, and their first matches arrived due to senior team-mates being unavailable. Sir Bobby was promoted on 6 October 1956 because Tommy Taylor was away on international duty with England, while Marcus stepped up at late notice on 25 February 2016 following injuries to Wayne Rooney, Will Keane and Anthony Martial (the Frenchman’s coming in the warm-up 10 minutes before kick-off). Charlton and Rashford both scored two goals in convincing victories at Old Trafford, with Matt Busby’s Reds beating Charlton Athletic 4-2 and Louis van Gaal’s team defeating FC Midtjylland 5-1.
UNITED THEN AND NOW
Back in 1956, when Sir Bobby made the first of his 758 first-team appearances, United was not the powerhouse club that it is today and there were only 10 trophies in the cabinet, which included the 1955/56 First Division title. That tally had increased to 62 by the time of Rashford’s emergence. Old Trafford’s average attendance has also risen significantly from 44,000 to 75,000 in those 60 years, while the price of the official match programme, United Review, has climbed from 30p to £3.50. Read in full